Replacing my Sadness with God’s Joy

17
Jun
2014

 Main-Replacing-Sadness-Joy

Life can be sad – plain and simple.  I think I forget that simple truth.  And you know, that’s okay – life is tricky, it’s stressful, happy, and trying all at the same time.

If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know I am fairly open about my struggle with depression for years.  It all really began to surface right after I married when I was 24 and my mother’s health began to severely decline due to her diagnosis with Multiple Scelrosis.  I am sure there are many other factors, but those are the two changes that really stick out in my mind of life changes that occurred.   The problem with my condition and something that resonated here with what Sue shared, is that sadness is considered to be a short-term issue, well – my sadness and hopelessness continued for years…… it did not go away or subside.

Thankfully I am on the other side of extreme symptoms of depression and God’s grace has been amazing by bringing so many elements into my life to help me – His love, an amazing husband, essential oils and friends.

I know we can all relate as moms to seasons of sadness and depression.  But I do love this reminder:

It’s in the season’s of difficulty that we need to remind ourselves about the greater truth.  The facts of our circumstances do not always make something true.

I tend to allow words to top truth.  I forget God’s word and can easily allow my thoughts to spiral down to a hopeless state.  Am I the only one?   It takes real intentional effort to keep my mind in check!

Something I have noticed that really helps me is to a simple thing that I have lost the older I get and more task orientated I am.  It is no secret around our home, I am a severely driven person with goals and high expectations of myself.  This is a good quality, until it becomes all I am.  

I noticed this on Mother’s Day, when I actually was able to sit at a professional baseball game for several hours in the company of my family and enjoy just being.  Don’t get me wrong, I love stuff like that – but I often will have an excuse to not “go have fun” because I feel driven to complete a task or a huge list of tasks.  I, in the end loose my JOY and real focus on what is important.  

I intentionally have to remember this – to have FUN!  I love how Sue put’s it:  GET OUT OF YOUR FUNK!

So, my summer goal is to have more fun, re-organize my time so I can still get done what needs done, but be more realistic with myself.  More fun times with my family and letting lose will in the end produce more Joy for me.

Keeping in His word also will result in a confidence of who God is and my connection to him.  My new morning routine has been great – an entire hour of quiet time and then exercise to get me started for my day. By 7 AM I am already feeling success with a few things that I like to cross off my to-do list.

My next step is to be more grateful, I think that will help me refocus and settle in His goodness a bit more.  How about you?  Do you keep a gratitude journal?  Have you read “One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are,”  by Ann Voskamp.  I did several years ago and maybe it is time for me to pull it out again and re-read those precious pages.    

Some perfect summer reading.  

I’ll catch you over on the Facebook page with some discussion!

The Danger of Comparison

30
Jan
2014

Comparison-Main-Motherhood

We’ve been sharing about the effect comparing ourselves has on our self-esteem, motivation and our perceived reality.  Comparison is like a poison that quickly seeps into other areas, creating dissatisfaction, and discontentment.  

Not too long ago I was going through a very discontent season and God called me out on it, I shared about it here.  I was spent and tired and felt really lost – but when I pushed in to find grace and ask forgiveness, God met me and healed my heart.

When Jill talked about how our high expectations end up fueling these scenes we see played out so perfectly in others’ lives, I saw very clearly how they can be a breeding ground for discontentment with our real lives.  What is worse is that we don’t even know it until it has truly poisoned our thinking and view.  We end up having a distorted perspective and viewpoint, she says this:

“It’s a subtle erosion of our satisfaction.  If we don’t recognize it, the discontentment can turn into disappointment, and then the disappointment can eventually turn into disillusionment.”

We need to keep our perspective clear and not fogged by the lenses we look at daily.  Unless you do not turn on TV, go to the grocery store, a PTA meeting for check Facebook – you are bombarded with what seems perfect.  

Take a step forward and recognize the desire that lies within to compare yourself to others.  When you recognize it and name it, it is a bit easier to try to curb.

APPLY

Here is the topic for this week from our discussion questions:

Identify one place where you tend to unfairly compare yourself to other moms.  Some  places to consider might include church, moms groups, grocery store, your child’s school, Facebook, mommy blogs, magazines, etc.  Ask God to help you identify when you are unconsciously making comparisons.  When you realize what you are doing, thank God for showing you your unconscious thoughts.  Then thank Him for making YOU the unique mom that you are.

Spillin’ the Beans

Here is where I come clean and answer the above for you.  

So, I struggle with several areas, all at the same time!  You see, I am right now an “older” mom of a toddler.  Most of those who have kids the age of my son, four, are much younger than I.  So perhaps they are in a bit better shape, wear cuter clothes because they are just a bit more “hip” and also have a fresher viewpoint of motherhood than I do.  

I struggle with not wanting to do all the crafty things I may have done with my kids who are much older when they were my son’s age.  I feel like I don’t fit in.  Period.  That is the exact line that has been achy to be released from my heart.

I don’t fit in as a mom of a four year old at 46 {almost 47}.

This is where I need to stop the train and check out what is TRUTH.  The Truth is that God placed this little guy in my life for a specific reason.  I may not know and understand what that reason is {okay, there are many reasons I do know, but don’t understand it all yet!}  I do know and believe there is a much bigger reason and beast that I am trying to conquer with this feeling that I don’t fit it all the time in this season.  Maybe it is to stay uncomfortable so I can help other moms who may be experiencing similar feelings – God doesn’t want us to get too comfortable because that can lead to pride – ouch!  Been guilty of that.

Perhaps being confident is good, but He doesn’t want me to become ‘over-confident’?  That could surely be the case as well.  Whatever the reason, I hope to find out one day, but for now I know I need to recognize when I compare, hold onto the truth, which is – God placed this little boy in my life at just this time because I was perfect for him to have as his mom.  I need to write that down over and over again, to have it embed in my heart and not let the enemies lies seep in.

I ask you, can you do the same???  Write a one sentence TRUTH out that you can hold onto even when you are feeling stuck in the comparison trap?

Get a jumpstart on your reading over the weekend by reading Chapter Two – feel free to share in the community over on the Facebook page and I will be back on Monday with our Week Two schedule.